Theis, Leona 1955-
Theis, Leona 1955-
Born 1955, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Education: University of Saskatchewan, B.A., Master of Continuing Education.
Home—Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer and editor. Has worked as a researcher, librarian, and adult education program developer.
Short fiction award, Saskatchewan Writers Guild, 1995; first prize, Prairie Fire Short Fiction competition, 1996; Saskatchewan Book Award for fiction and Saskatoon Book Award, both 2000, both for Sightlines; Literary Award, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2006.
Sightlines (short stories), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 2000.
The Art of Salvage (novel), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 2006.
Contributor to Coming Attractions 98, Oberon Press. Writer for CBC radio, including "Home-Made Map," 1994, and "Traces," 1998. Contributor to periodicals, including grain, McGill Street, NeWest Review, Prairie Fire, and Fiddlehead. Associate fiction editor, grain.
The story "The Stuff That Makes You Lift Cars" has been adapted as a short film, produced by RGB Productions of Regina and directed by Billy Morton.
Leona Theis published an award-winning short-story collection, Sightlines, before writing her first novel, The Art of Salvage. The Art of Salvage varies its setting and viewpoint to tell the stories of Delorie, or Del, and her daughter Amber. The book opens with the two of them together, as adults; then flashes back to tell the story of Del's unexpected pregnancy, her decision to give up the child, Amber, for adoption, and the consequences of the eventual course taken by her family, which involved Del's parents raising the baby as her sister. Taking the advice of a social worker, Del attempted to keep her distance from Amber. She has made her peace with that decision, and leads a solitary life far from her daughter. Yet Amber, who discovered the truth about her relationship to Del accidentally, feels hurt and angry about Del's choices.
"The Art of Salvage is one of those novels which haunts the reader," stated Charlene Martel in a review for Literary Word. Martel felt that Amber in particular, who alternates between seeming powerful and insubstantial, is "a brilliantly written complex character." A reviewer for Internet Bookwatch recommended the book as "an introspective tale, with elements of tragedy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Internet Bookwatch, December 1, 2006, review of The Art of Salvage.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Web site,http://www.cbc.ca/ (March 7, 2007), interview with Leona Theis.
Leona Theis's Home Page,http://www.leonatheis.com (August 29, 2007).
Literary Word,http://theliteraryword.blogspot.com/ (June 17, 2007), review of The Art of Salvage.
Prairie Fire,http://www.prairiefire.ca/ (August 29, 2007), Donna Gamache, review of The Art of Salvage.